You don’t have to wait to have a good relationship with your body. Not after you lose weight or start going back to the gym or get a lover. Whatever space you’re in with it, you can start making peace right now.
Our culture normalizes talking about bodies all the time. There is especially a lot of value placed on weight gain or loss. Turn on a television and just listen to diet chatter. It’s pervasive, obnoxious and well-meaning individuals perpetuate it in our personal lives all the time.
I like to create an environment in my life that is about substance over small talk, where compliments are genuine and weight is value-neutral.
“Oh, but Bevin,” you may be saying. “I really mean it as a compliment when I notice you’ve lost weight!”
But, well-intentioned friend, just because you’re well-intentioned doesn’t mean what you say doesn’t have a harmful impact. Weight loss doesn’t mean I look good. I believe I look good at all of my weights--all bodies are good bodies. And I know your perception of me might have changed because you are socialized to believe smaller is better, but I would like to gently invite you to do something different with your nonpliments of “You look so good!” when someone has lost weight.
My straight BFF says she's annoyed when she gets screened for STIs because it's often as a result of a break-up and she thinks you should get banged after you get a clean bill of health, as a reward. Except you sometimes get this stuff taken care of at the end of the road because maybe you were cheated on or you realized you had some miscommunications with someone about fluid bonding and probably you should get tested for your own peace of mind. And then there's no one to bang you when it comes back clear. Just maybe a little bit of relief and an iced coffee when you don't get a call that anything is wrong.
He loudly said to my back, "You should go on a diet," as I was getting off the train. I had a pause waiting for the doors to open. Usually I ignore these kinds of things, but this time I turned to the 20 something white dude, looked him dead in the eye and said, "My body is none of your business, nor is anyone else's."
I'm wondering from readers what they feel like about wearing make-up, whether they find it compulsory, if they feel comfortable in public spaces or specifically queer spaces without it (if they are a make-up identified person)?
In what ways do you feel "in your gender," and how does that present? How does that differ from day to day, moment to moment?
How do you respond to weight loss in your life? Are there ways that you make it value-neutral?
Today, May 6th, is International No Diet Day. I used to throw parties every year for it, but now I throw body positive parties all the time so I just have a quiet observation. I thought this was a great occasion to go through three ways that I like to reclaim my consciousness, self-esteem and eating habits from the scars of an early lifetime of dieting.
It is empowering to have an identity. It's empowering to read about other folks who date fat people in spite of what society tells them is sexy or attractive. It is empowering to recognize that society tells you to be attracted to one thing and to swing your authentic preferences another way and work towards body empowerment.
What I find hard about it is that "chubby chaser" and "fat admirer" are current labels that, to me, seem to be fetishes and not appreciation. I don't want someone to find me attractive because I'm fat or in spite of being fat. I want someone who is attracted to me because of how being fat is part of who I am and also because I'm a babe. Not because it's a deviant sexuality to like fat girls.
I love fetishes and open sexuality but since most American women are above a size 14 doesn't that make us not that unusual?
In mainstream porn, I am seen as a plumper or BBW, ebony or urban. In queer porn, I am just me. I don't mind being labeled because I am ebony and I am of size, but I am also a hell of a lot more than that and in queer porn the other parts of me are valued as well. I have said this many times, porn is the only industry that can get away with being sizist, racist, classist, homophobic, ablest, and bigoted. However, if you surround yourself with empowered, fierce people it's not a problem. In mainstream, I am not small enough to be in 'regular' porn and I am not big enough to be in most BBW porns. But in queer porn, I am accept for my style, beauty, and sex appeal. I have not experienced direct negativity from being in porn when it comes to my size or ethnicity, but I have experienced indirect negativity as well as seeing my friends and others deal with it. My goal is to make my own queer fierce femme realness genre versus trying to fit in with one. I also enjoy being able to educate my heterosexual cis gendered male fans about what queer is and how sexy it can be.
I've been asked by people on different ends of the fat lover spectrum about advice being a good ally. From the "My lover doesn't see how beautiful she is and won't have sex with the lights on," to the "My lover uses the term fat to describe themself but I've always thought of that as a derogatory word... isn't it?" For FAT SEX WEEK I've highlighted some of the best ways to be a good ally to your fat lover.
This is all from my limited perspective, you should obviously be in good communication with your lover to find out what works for them and how they operate in the world. Communication is an essential sex toy!
This advice applies to folks of all sizes, not just thinner folks partnered (in all the myriad ways one can partner) with fat folks. And a lot of it is good advice for sex in general, regardless of whether or not your partner is fat.